it's off to the golf course

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
The owner of the company enters the room where the managers are discussing something:
-Sorry to barge in, Niles. Do Jackie and I need to be here for anything?
-Not at all, Mr Hansen. Just boring production details.
-Then it's off to the golf course. My son-in-law's gonna show me how to get rid of my slice.

('Mr. Destiny', movie)

Why do he say "it's off to the golf course" instead of "we're off to the golf course"?
Thank you.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means "In that case, the next thing for me to do is go to the golf course." It's not clear whether Mr Hansen intends to go unaccompanied to the golf course, so "we're" may not be suitable here. In any case, "We're off to the golf course" does not convey the idea of "the next thing to do".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It means "In that case, the next thing for me to do is go to the golf course." It's not clear whether Mr Hansen intends to go unaccompanied to the golf course, so "we're" may not be suitable here. In any case, "We're off to the golf course" does not convey the idea of "the next thing to do".
    I have a few questions.
    1. Strictly speaking, you mean: it's off to the golf course =the next thing for me to do is off to the golf course, and this is correct to say, right?
    2. Why is it not clear if he says "My son-in-law's gonna show me how to..." That is, he'll go at least together with his son-in-law. (the son-in-law is Jackie with whom he entered the room)
    3. If so, is my version grammatically correct, in this case?
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1. You haven't copied sound-shift's suggestion. You have created a new sentence which is not correct.
    2. "Why is it not clear if he says...?" What is the "it" that you think is not clear? He does say that so why do you say "if he says..."?
    3. Which version are you referring to as "my version"?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    1. You haven't copied sound-shift's suggestion. You have created a new sentence which is not correct.
    2. "Why is it not clear if he says...?" What is the "it" that you think is not clear? He does say that so why do you say "if he says..."?
    3. Which version are you referring to as "my version"?
    1. That's the point. Sound-shift changed a bit the original phrase, so I got confused. I understand he wanted to say that the "it" stands for "the next thing for me to do". And all what I did is just put "the next thing for me to do" into the original phrase: "Then, the next thing for me to do is off to the golf course." So this point is still unclear to me.:(
    2. I meant the fact that Mr Hansen doesn't intend to go unaccompanied is clear because we know exactly he is going to go there with, at least, Jackie.
    3. My version is "We're off to the golf course".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1. "Off" is not a verb. You can go to a place or you can be off to a place, but you cannot off to a place.
    2. You mean if he did not say the first sentence? a) It may not be necessary for them to leave the room for that purpose, much less go to the golf course. b) The second sentence says nothing about when this is going to happen. b) Even if something is clear, there's no reason you can't say more about it.
    3. "We're off to the golf course." is grammatically correct. (The verb is "are" not "off".)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Sorry I didn't get what you meant in "2.":).
    But let's leave it.
    The question is in "1." Hansen says "Then it's off to the golf course."
    Yes, I understand there is not a verb in the bolded part of "Then, the next thing for me to do is off to the golf course." But neither is in the original: "Then it's off to the golf course."
    Why is the latter correct?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It is because the structure of the sentence is actually very different. I do something. The task is to do something.
    It is off to the golf course (for me).
    I am off to the golf course.
    The task is to off to the golf course.:cross:
    The task is to be/go off to the golf course.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It is off to the golf course (for me).
    Could you tell what kind of structure is that?

    I would understand this:
    it is time to be off to the golf course
    it is important to be off to the golf course now
    etc.
    but
    It is off to the golf course (for me) -- I really can't understand this...
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think it is a bit too specific to say that "it" refers to the next thing to do. In general terms, "it" can stand for a wide variety of prevailing circumstances and things that I have in mind. There are obvious examples like weather and time, but really it's wider than that. The OED reminded me of this one:
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
    But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
    http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_tommy.htm
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If I say that "Then it's off to the golf course." is an omission, which means "Then it's being off to the golf course." -- is it correct?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If I say that "Then it's off to the golf course." is an omission, which means "Then it's being off to the golf course." -- is it correct?
    No. That is not a valid sentence so the other sentence is not a shorter version of it.
    se16teddy makes a good point about "It is..." sentences like "It is raining." and "to be off" is a phrasal verb. In "it is off", we can't really define "it" nor can we separate "is off" or alter it.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    So, then this definition of WRdictionary is applicable here:
    it
    used in the nominative as the formal grammatical subject of impersonal verbs. When it functions absolutely in such sentences, not referring to any previous or following clause or phrase, the context is nearly always a description of the environment or of some physical sensation: it is raining, it hurts
    ... with the difference that we can't say "someone is raining/hurts", but can say either "it's off to the golf course" or "I'm off to the golf course".
    Am I right?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "It hurts" can mean "my arm hurts" but "It hurts when I do this." is not about a specific thing that hurts.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is because the structure of the sentence is actually very different. I do something. The task is to do something.
    It is off to the golf course (for me).
    I am off to the golf course.
    The task is to off to the golf course.:cross:
    The task is to be/go off to the golf course.
    The key to understanding this, in my opinion, is Myridon's "It is off to the golf course (for me)."

    The true omission is "for me".

    The idiom is "It is X (for person Y)"

    Examples

    (a) If you cross him, it is curtains for you. [If you annoy him you will be killed]

    (b)
    "What do you feel towards me?"
    "It's a feeling of love"
    "Yes, it's love for me as well"

    (c)
    "What are you planning to do today?"
    "It's 'off to the golf course' for me." [Punctuated to show the separation of ideas]
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I can feel the necessity for "for me/you" in (a) and (b), but I can't in (c), Biffo...:D (it's my lack of understanding, of course)
    But in general I got the idea, I think.
    Thank you everyone!:)
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can feel the necessity for "for me/you" in (a) and (b), but can't in (c), Biffo...:D
    But in general I got the idea, I think.
    Thank you everyone!:)
    I said nothing about necessity. I used "for person Y" in an attempt to elucidate my point. You can in fact say,

    "It's curtains."
    "It's love"


    The distinction I'm making is the following:

    I am off to the golf course. [The sentence means, "I am leaving (to go to the golf course)"]

    It is off to the golf course. [The verb here is not "to be off." Otherwise the sentence would mean, "It is leaving (to go to the golf course)" - clearly nonsense. The verb is "to be". It means, "It is X", i.e. "It is 'off-to-the-golf-course'."]

    This is not the "It is" of "It is raining".​ If it were, then "off" would be a verb in itself - clearly it's not.
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Oh, it's clear now, thanks!
    No problem.

    There was an error in what I said. The second term in the idiom does not have to be a person. I should have said "It's X (for Y)".

    Examples

    It's curtains for the political career of Mitch McConnell. http://open.salon.com/blog/tom_degan/2013/08/04/its_curtains_for_mitch

    I never did find a use for [things] that once seemed useful but now just take up too much room. So it's the recycling bin for the lot. http://fansonline.net/blackpool/mb/view.php?id=1436566
     
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